Yes, well, alright, it's been a fair whack of time since I last posted. As Carnage has outlined below, we had our little TAPE School Trip to the Stink
night in London on Monday (there we are, pictured above, in our respective k-holes outside the club). It went off, but Koze
didn't play for anywhere near long enough, leaving celebrity hat-wearer Damian Lazarus
to hammer away for the 1-2.30am glory slot. What's up with Lazarus these days? His DJing gets better and better, but gesture/gesticulationwise he's fast becoming, to quote Lazerboy, 'the Danny Rampling of electro' - seriously, you should've seen him, flailing around like we were retarded haircuts discovering mid-paced house for the first time in DC-10 or something, and EQing the living shit out of every record he played. Still, he scored big points for his set, and of the classics it was Ame's 'Rej' (so fucking ubiquitous but so far never tiresome) and MJ's '7.19fm David' (I hate saying things like this, but - it sounds soooo good on a system) which hit me hardest. He did overdo it with some minimal schminimal post-Rej, which was a shame, but we landed on our feet back at base camp, rinsing Lazerboy's k and listening to, of all things, Rob Da Bank's Fabric mix (really, surprisingly good) and the pan-narcotic sure thing that is 'Forever Changes'. I can't remember the last time I felt so awful on the fifth-day-after-the-night-before, but it's proof we did ourselves justice...Thank you Lazerboi for your hospitality, your drugs, your good cheer and that luxuriant bacon n' egg sandwich you somehow found the presence of mind to construct in the following AM.
As I was wondering around the T-bar in a fucked up trance towards the end of the night, I was handed a document purporting to be the 'Stinkzine'....I see what they were aiming for, and it's nice to have a ready-made memento of a great night (along with the wrong head, burnt mouth and brutal bank statement), but seriously....It consists of a (legitimately) self-congratulory tale of Stink's poolside inception at Benicassim, a completely unenlightening interview with Herr Koze, a horrendous poem by someone called Melissa, nonsensical streams-of-consciousness from Matt Tolfrey and 'DJ Laura Loadsadecks' (?), a hideous drawing of Mayer/Lazarus and this, a limerick by none other than Michael Mayer
himself (Ogden Nash he ain't):
A STINKERICK by Michael Mayer
There were two bright guys from Old Europe,
Which swam in a pool on some new dope.
They both liked things smelly,
Except air from a human belly
But don't think they are misanthrope.
Seriously, I'm not shitting you, I've written it just as it appears...You know the saying, 'Never meet your heroes'? - yeah, course you do - well, I've met Michael Mayer and he was a legend, so I think a new adage is in order: Never read your heroes' limericks. I mean, what the fuck? Stink is a phenomenal night, of that there is no question, but the STINKzine is, basically, one of the most rubbish pieces of paper I've ever seen in my life. Prrrmmmmph.
I was at a party (by which I mean, horrendously egalitarian office-style party - everyone at my college) last night and the DJ, who was sharp enough to be spinning everything from Snoop to DJ T (a pleasant surprise considering the environs, believe you me) finished with Tief's classic mix of 'The Red Dress' (fair enough), whilst artfully popping in the opening vocal strains of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' all over the build - madness. It sounded....good? I think it did, but I was pissed enough to eat a double egg burger (the picture below is the ACTUAL kebab van I got it from - Google never ceases to amaze...)
afterwards and forget where I lived, so I'm not sure if my critical acumen was what you'd call trustworthy at the time. But I have a larger point. Before the party in question, I was at my posh little drinking hole quaffing a whiskey 'n ginger ale (Puffin - you're right, it's the best drink ever). Normally the music in this place is, you know, just inoffensive dub, unnoodly jazz etc (still far from ideal, I'll grant you) but the delightful (or is that deplorable?) girl who runs the bar had obviously been given free rein soundswise, and had opted for one of those Steve Angello-style electrohouse lite compilations. I have no idea what it was, it could have just been MoS's '04 Ibeefa CD, but anyway, it was amazing how many tunes I hold/held dear were distorted and demeaned by the tracks they were sequenced alongside and the speed at which they were played - Kinda New, Geht's Noch, brash anthem after brash anthem, ocasionally levied by a bloodless banger I hadn't heard. I sat there, kind of enjoying it (I mean, you know, it's nice to go for a quiet one and hear a bit of the Flugel, no?) but pondering deeply what it all really meant. I hear Tiefschwarz
's most celebrated moments twice in one night, and think, where are they now? OK, I'm not going to rinse the album again, not least 'cause I'm sure it was exhaustion and miscalculation which lead to it being rubbish, not them losing their touch - I mean, it may have been a sleeper, but that mix of Fischerspooner's 'Kick in the Teeth' was unbelievable, wasn't it? Really, really different and really, really good. Still, I thought some good
singles would emerge from Eat Books
, if only by virtue of well-chosen remixers. I guess Alter Ego did a garishly effectively job on 'Wait & See', but what about Gucci Soundsystem? Buick? Cass & Mangan? Why them, when you had Eulberg and Nathan Fake doing the damage on 'Isst'? Crazy. Well, Tiefschwarz have obviously learned from their mistakes as promos for Steve Bug's mix of 'Fly' have just hit the racks. 'Fly' was one of the two or three undisputed highlights from the LP - rude, spacious and full of the hard snares, claps, synth riffs and bass drops that we think of when we think 'Tiefschwarz'. Steve Bug
(pictured right), whose recent 'Smackman' and magisterial rework of Sian's 'Sei' point towards a producer at the top of his game, pushes forward by looking back, microwaving the original into a sterling 7 mins of minimal electro-house which retains the build but little else. As jacking, bassy and classy as we've come to expect from my favourite Hamburger. Salad/ketchup/mayonnaise?
Download: Tiefschwarz - Fly (Steve Bug Remix) // Fine
Have you heard the new mixes of Isolee
? Not to sound like a Heat sub-editor, but the producers on board are, like, soooooooo A-list - 'Retardo' Villalobos
, man-of-the-moment Dixon
(mastermind behind the Innervisions series which brought us 'Rej', and aider and abetter of the reinfiltration of jazzier, warmer broken beat and deep-house stylings into the linear robotics of electro/techno), and a Softie favourite: most famous 1/3 of The Three Tenors, legendary pie-eater and tropical techno doyenne Luciano
(pictured above). As a latecomer to the Chilean's inordinate gifts, I'm still reeling from my rapid acquaintance with his back catalogue, not to mention his bona fide classic retouch of Salif Keita's 'Yamore' (which has finally popped out on Cadenza this week, after three years languishing in collectable obscurity). His version of 'Cite Grande Terre' isn't quite as rich as the magical goings-on of 'Yamore', but still, it's so spot-on it almost makes me sick. A fantastically deep, dubby conflation of syncopated, Trapezzy snares, underwater bass throb and serious echo that creates heavy psychedelia out of few, carefully-programmed elements: it's a world away from the fussy, compound patterns and interactions of Ricardo's already legendary Achso
, but no less considered or satisfying. I'm not going to post the 'lobos or Dixon mixes, but needless to say they're top drawer stuff (especially Ricardo's track, post-Achso AMAZING) and well worth seeking out.
Download: Isolee - Cite Grande Terre (Luciano's Luck Of Lucien Mix) // Playhouse
I'm got some more fabulous bits n' pieces to share with you, but it'll have to wait 'cos right now I have an appointment with a cup of tea, a packet of bourbon biscuits and a Camel Light. Simple pleasures, eh? Hope life's treating you all well.